Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Most Embarrassing Moment




When I saw that Momfessionals was doing a link up today about most embarrassing moments I knew I had to write a blog post. First, because there is no shortage of material for me to write about but mostly because my MOST embarrassing moment also happens to be one of my best memories. 

It was Spring of 2004 and I was crushing hard on this really cute red head named Andrew Donaldson. As luck would have it (and we all know I'm a lucky dog) I had won 4 tickets to a nearby amusement park because I was the 9th caller to our local radio station and correctly named who performed at the Superbowl halftime show. 

I chose to invite my best friend, her boyfriend, and... dun dun dunnnnnnn ANDREW DONALDSON. 

He said yes and I'm pretty sure I celebrated by buying a new swimsuit, spending some time in the tanning bed, and picking up some Golden Corral rolls with my bestie. This pretty much sums up 2004 for me. 

The day of fun at the amusement park came and it was so crowded that we had to park a half a mile away on the side of the road. We rode all the rides and did all the things and when it was time to go Andrew and I decided to walk to get the car and just pick our friends up at the gate. I was pretty sure this was a ploy to spend some alone time with me so I mustered up all the cutest, sweetest, wittiest, coolest things I could think of to impress Andrew. 

Being the ever chivalrous man that he is, Andrew insisted I walk on the inside so I didn't get hit by a car. So I did. However, I did not take into account the fact that it had rained earlier and it being South Georgia and all, the ground was mud. I'm sure I had on some kind of platform flip-flops with zero traction that did not help the situation. 

We were walking along and I was so focused on impressing this boy that I was not looking where I was stepping. As you probably have already guessed, I slipped. However, since I was walking on the inside I didn't just slip and fall down. I slipped and fell down into mud which slid my tan little fanny down 
down 
down into the bottom of the ditch. On the side of the road. Do you guys have a visual?

Andrew described it like this, "It was like you were there one minute and then disappeared the next." He said he just looked around for a while before he realized where I was. I'm sure since he was preparing for ministry and all he might have had a moment of terror at the thought that I had been raptured and he missed it.

I just sat there in the ditch unable to organize my thoughts because it was so dark and I wasn't really sure where I was either. Hello God? Is that you? Fortunately, the Lord allowed me to see another day on earth. I made it out of the ditch. And somehow Andrew Donaldson didn't write me off then and there. 

It still lives on as one of the funniest things that's ever happened to me and even though I was mortified, I'm glad for the memory!




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What's Up With James?

I thought I'd do a catch up post on the little fella so I could remember what he is like at the sweet age of almost two. After all, this blog was intended to document our time in New Orleans and as it turns out, James Timothy Donaldson has become a pretty big part of life.

James has the longest eyelashes known to man. I would gladly trade with him any day and never have to wear mascara again.



James is a weird eater. He goes through phases of eating like a horse and then barely eating at all. He JUST started eating chicken in addition to bacon and those are the only meats he will touch. This proves he is an American male living in the South. Otherwise, he loves grapes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, apples, milk, cheese, yogurt, mac n cheese, cheerios, shredded wheat, animal crackers, raisins, and french fries. And all sweets except ice cream. Weird.



We have really loved having a baby in New Orleans. There are so many things we enjoy doing with James around the city. Some of our favorites are the Audubon Zoo, City Park, LaFreniere Park, Story Time at the Norman Mayer Library, the LA Children's Museum, Palm Tree Playground, playing at the Disney Store and PB Kids, and like most other moms and tots - Chick-fil-a!



James loves to read (finally, this took a while) and his little attention span is getting longer and longer. Some of our favorites are Giggle, Goodnight Nola (which he calls nite nite gola), Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, Talking Train, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Little Blue Truck and a book just called Trucks. 

James is always happy when he is outside. This is one characteristic that has stayed exactly the same since he was born. So, we go for A LOT of walks and play on the playground almost every day. There are some major perks of living at the seminary. We have 3 playgrounds and a lot of green space to safely explore. James also can't get enough of watching the train go by right outside our apartment. Which leads me to his biggest obsession....



Planes, Trains and Automobiles! The kid loves machinery. He even got really enthralled when NASCAR came on TV the other day. I never thought a day would come when I would be watching NASCAR and saying things like "Sweetie, where's your backhoe loader?" 

James also adores playing "airplane" with his daddy. Andrew puts him on his back and runs around. Just watching them is exhausting so when James asks me to do it I tell him I can't because I'm too little. HA! (He will probably figure out pretty soon that this is the furthest thing from a good excuse!)



James really has the sweetest little spirit and is truly a joy to everyone he meets. He gives lots of hugs and kisses. He loves his grandparents and always has the best time when he gets to visit with them. He is so blessed to have some pretty incredible cousins who adore him. And the feeling is definitely mutual! The hardest thing about having James in New Orleans is being so far from our families. We miss them all the time. 



James, you are the best thing that ever happened to your daddy and me. We love you more than anything and know you are going to grow up to be an amazing man of God. It is a joy to be your mama. I love you!!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

How I Use My Erin Condren Life Planner

Hey Girls!

Let's talk planners. I am not very organized but I find a lot of success keeping my ducks in a row with a paper planner. I haven't been able to get on board with electronic calendars so if that's your thing this is not the post for you. (I'm talking to you Andrew!).  My only criteria for a good planner has been that it needs to be fairly compact, have a monthly and weekly display, and plenty of room to write on each day.

I had been eyeing the Erin Condren Life Planner for about two years but wasn't comfortable committing to the higher price tag. But then last year the planner I bought at Target was a dud and things got a little out of whack in life. So I took the plunge after reading COUNTLESS reviews just like this one and received my shiny new ECLP the first week of January.

There are plenty of other spots online to read about the ECLP but I have had several folks in my real life ask me about it so I thought ya'll might like to know my experience with it in case you are thinking about getting your own!!

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated AT ALL by Erin Condren. They have no idea who I am. The point of this post is just to inform y'all about a product I am recommending to every woman I talk to these days!

So here are some pics of my ECLP. You can explore all the endless options for covers and personalization on the website so I won't spend much time telling you about that. (sorry for the fuzzy iPhone shots)



Let me tell you some of the things I keep track of in my ECLP:

On the Monthly View Calendar 

1. Important dates and appointments. (This is where my 11 year old self would say, "duh.") I will jot down events and appointments in the monthly view as they arise and then use that as a reference to write them in the weekly view when I do my weekly planning on Sunday. 

2. Bills. Andrew is our primary money man but there are a couple of payments I am responsible for so I have those marked on the monthly view on the day's I need to mail/pay them. NOT ON THE DAY THEY ARE DUE. I try to mail/pay them about a week before they are actually due.

3. Birthdays. EC includes some cute little stickers for birthdays, hair appointments, etc. that are precious but not necessary. However, I do tend to use them from time to time to accentuate the day of someone's birth. I do as many of these as I can as soon as I get my planner for the year. Not only does it help me remember but it also helps me budget for presents! If you are a scrapbooker you will LOVE the stickers.

4. That time of the month. You can only fight the crazy if you know its coming. I think thats in Proverbs :)

5. Vacations/Holidays/Guests Visiting/Travels. I like to draw a thin line through all the days that any of these events are taking place and write them in ALL CAPS. (Don't ask me why). 

6. Grocery Budget. In the sidebar of the calendar are some lines for notes and this is where I keep track of my grocery budget. And lest you think I'm good at it- I ALWAYS go over.

Blankish Monthly View (don't you love the inspirational quotes at the top of every month?)



Appointment Stickers



On the Weekly View Calendar (this is where it gets good)

1. Meal Plan. At the bottom of each day are four lines and on one of them I write that night's dinner. I do this planning on Sunday.

2. Weekly Bible Reading Plan. This varies depending on what I'm studying but I will write the passage I am reading for that day on another line at the bottom or at the very top of the day in the Morning section. This is also part of my Sunday planning.

3. Workout Plan. I will write how I intend to work out on yet another one of the lines at the bottom of each day or in the slot for the time of day I plan to do it. (This hasn't been going great for me this year.)

4. Goal or Verse for the week. I write these on the notes section. Usually its just something to encourage or motivate me to get through the week.

5. To Do Lists. This includes errands, housework, phone calls or emails to respond to, or any other household business that needs to be taken care of. I generally write these in the section of the day I plan to do them, usually "day" because that translates to "nap time" for me.

6. Meetings or Appointments. See #1 in monthly view.

7. Thoughts/Ideas/Baby Milestones/Brainstorming/Answered Prayers. I basically try to use up the paper on my weekly calendar when I have an idea or something happens that I want to remember. My planners have always been little journals to me and I love looking back at them.

8. Prayer Plan. I will plum forget to pray about some things and writing down prayer needs helps me remember. I write this in the morning section because that is the time of day I set aside for focused prayer.

Up close blank view:

Filled in full week view:




Some Other Tidbits

There are several sheets of lined and blank paper in the back for notes. Like probably 25ish. I use those with discretion because they are limited.

There is a great little plastic zipper pocket at the back where I keep receipts from the grocery store.

There is a small two pocket folder

There is a perpetual calendar that is a separate little booklet that I haven't used yet.

There is a moveable plastic bookmark that I use to mark the week I am in. It is included.

I purchased the pen holder in addition to the Life Planner and I feel it was more than worth it.

You get all kinds of extra little goodies and stickers with your LP purchase!!!





So Girls, if you are interested I would say get yourself one. I feel like I am getting more than my money's worth out of mine and it is only March!!

They are currently selling the Jan-Dec 2015 LP's but will soon have 18month Jul 2015-Dec 2016 LP's available. I'm guessing like May/Juneish? But maybe sooner.

If you decide to make a purchase please use my referral code below, I will get $10 and probably use it to buy you a birthday present! Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them!



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

That time I did some stuff with Rock N Roll Marathon New Orleans

Hey Party People!

I was sitting here during nap time and had a wild hair to write a blog post. Its clear to me that I can consistently blog only once a year. I could go into a long list of excuses about my absence but you only enjoy reading the same old thing so many times, amiright? And this is America so let's  skip it!

*Everyone sighs with relief*

I had the opportunity to go to my first ever blogger meet up last Saturday. Technically it was a "tweet up" but that sounds so silly that I feel funny even thinking it. It turned out to be one of the weirdest days of my life. Mainly because I hardly consider myself a "blogger" anymore (if I ever was one to begin with) and also because it was a meet up of bloggers who are also runners, namely Rock N Roll Marathon bloggers and I have nary a marathon to speak of. Nor half marathon. You may be wondering why on earth I was there? Me too.



But seriously, I went on a whim with my good friend Leah who is both a blogger and RNR 1/2 Marathoner and who also happened to be volunteering at the race. Since I am none of those things, I just played along and met some really cool people, had some free beignets and coffee (thanks RNR Marathon!) and wound up mingling with the likes of Saint's Kicker Thomas Morstead at a charity event. See, an ordinary day in the life of a stay home mom can get pretty exciting.


I got home that afternoon thinking, "what did I even just do?," and "I hope all of these neat people don't find out that I'm not really a blogger or runner (and still use the word neat)," and also, "wow, my picture is on a lot of the RNR New Orleans social media, was that my 15 minutes?" and lastly, "is there any way I can get sued for any of this?"

*Prone to anxiety and worst-case-scenarios.* 



But not really because I confessed to at least three important people that I didn't really belong there. And wouldn't you know that those funky-rock-n-rolling athletes didn't mind one bit. They were just happy to be having a fun time in New Orleans. Even if it was with an outsider like me! Or maybe it was because they were focused on Thomas Morstead?

Either way I had a ball. And who knows, if the saying "fake it til you make it" is true, I could be running a marathon soon!

Thanks for inviting me LEAH!

XOXO
Charlotte

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

What a cliff hanger! Last time I wrote I had not even given birth yet. You’ll be happy to know the baby has been born. In fact, a moment ago I blinked my eyes and now he is one.

One year old.

So much has happened over the past 12 months. My dignity is glad I didn’t choose my blog to share the details as they were happening because lets just say, EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER. 

The biggest happenings were that we had James (duh), changed jobs, and moved apartments! We are still in New Orleans on campus but in a newer, nicer, centrally heated and cooled apartment. Hallelujah. And Andrew has his first official job as a real life pastor at a real church with an actual congregation. 

Not to imply that he once had a fictional job as pastor of a church with an imaginary congregation.

At least not to my knowledge.

Either way, I am beyond proud of him and the job he is doing!

I am staying home with my sweet James and as cliché as it might sound, it is the hardest and most rewarding job I've ever had.

I have intentions of cranking up the old blog again but there is always the chance that my track record will get the better of me. Until it doesn’t and I restart for the 42nd time. But who’s counting?

And just in case you aren’t my Facebook or Instagram or Twitter friend (which I am about as consistent with as this blog) here are some sweet sweet pictures of my sweet sweet boy throughout this year.


















Much Love.


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